Gadhafi makes official visit to Italy

June 9, 2009 at 9:57 PM
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ROME, June 9 (UPI) -- Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi's crowded schedule during his first official visit to Italy includes a meeting with 700 female leaders.

Gadhafi, scheduled to be met at the airport Wednesday by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, will also spend time with President Giorgio Napolitano, Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and others, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. There has been no announcement yet on whether Gadhafi will pay a courtesy call on Pope Benedict XVI during his three days in Rome.

During the visit, Gadhafi's base will be a Bedouin tent in the huge Villa Doria Pamphli Park.

Security is expected to be tight, especially Thursday afternoon, when Gadhafi is to hold a debate with students at La Sapienza University. Left-wing student groups plan to protest a joint effort by Libya and Italy to stop African immigrants from crossing to Italy.

Gadhafi himself requested the women's meeting, to be hosted by Equal Opportunities Minister Mara Carfagna. Those invited include women in the arts, business and politics.

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